about my workshops

All are process-oriented and improvisational, with a playful, relaxed,"what if?" approach. Participants are encouraged to use their intuition, to experiment,

and to enjoy the results of "happy accidents." 

Most are designed for two days so students get maximum benefit.  But if necessary, two one-day wokshops that complement each other can be scheduled so students can take one or both. 

             2018 workshops

        no rules, no rulers, no stress!

Modern Quilts from Old Blocks
modern update of an old favorite!
1-3 days
No Strings Attached
modern updates of an old favorite!
1-5 days

You'll fall in love with these modern versions of the string quilt! Combine strips with negative space and be ready for a surprise or two! Your granny wouldn't recognize these new versions of the classic string quilts!

Modern and contemporary or wild and funky! Choose the size and color of your background; add strings in all solids, prints, or a combination. Use a limited palette or go wild with scraps. No two blocks or quilts alike!

Improv Magic with Rectangles
infinite possibilities for modern design
2-5 days

Leftovers you don't know what to do with? Traditional blocks from another era? Experiments that didn't work? Get them out of hiding and go Modern!!


Make your rotary cutter into a magic wand! Slice, insert, add, subtract, and transform these old blocks and tops into exciting new work you can put into a fresh, modern setting!

Wonder where your next idea for an improv quilt will come from? Line, shape, color, and pattern are everywhere and your eyes can be your muse if you learn to see.


Come to class with some visual inspiration and using line, color, and shape you will learn to capture the essence of the design and translate it to fabric.  Once you jump-start your muse, it will follow you home. You'll never be at a loss for inspiration again.

rayna gillman studio                  artist-author-teacher                            improv & modern quilts

You won't be able to resist experimenting with clean design in this basic and versatile shape! Using solids, you'll improvise the units and work on the wall, designing your no-pattern quilt with intent.

We'll discuss color, value, use of space, and composition. And you will learn to use your eyes and your instincts. Come play, and go home with multiple ideas for quilts with a modern sensibility.

Inspiration & Abstract Design 
Capturing the Essence with Line, Color, & Shape
2 -5 days
Fearless Color
anything goes!
1 day

Do color decisions make you tense? Do the terms "split complementary," diadic," and "tertiary" confuse you? Free yourself from color paralysis: throw away that color wheel and 

trust your eyes and instincts! Learn Nanny's Foolproof Color Theory and free yourself from the same old color combinations.

Using unexpected colors and glue stick or stitches, you'll make studies that will push your color limits. We will talk about value and experiment with neutrals and a limited palette. You will say goodbye, forever, to color angst!

No-Pattern Paper Piecing
no lines, no numbers, no need for accuracy
1 day

Daunted by paper piecing?  This modern way to use a paper foundation has no lines to follow, no precision required, and best of all,

barely any paper to rip off!!

There's no better way to use up odd-size scraps! Improvise a modern crazy quilt, wonky triangle blocks, or an organic square-in-square with this method. Don't worry about perfection -- just enjoy the journey!